The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin : the journal of John Woolman ; Fruits of solitude

by John Woolman

Other authorsWilliam Penn (Author), Charles Eliot (Editor), John Woolman (Author)
Hardcover, 1937



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New York : P.F. Collier, c1937.

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LibraryThing member keylawk
Born in the colony of New Jersey in 1720, and from his youth, a zealous member of the Society of Friends (Quakers). He labored as a tailor and married a "well-inclined damsel, Sarah Ellis". His Journal was published posthumously in 1774, and it recounts his surprisingly extended travels in the
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colony and in England. He marks a distinction among those who work, and those who own slaves:

"I saw in these southern provinces so many vices and corruptions, increased by this trade and this way of life [slave-holding], that it appeared to me as a dark gloominess hanging over the land". [183]

His extreme humility veils the importance of his role in eliminating the practice of slavery. He often waited patiently for long months for his Lord to speak to his heart. There is no pretense to any actual miracle or un-natural event, even where the subjects of great tragedy -- disease caused by small pox vaccinations -- are raised.

He meditates upon the alterations in the circumstances of the native people since the coming in of the English. [261] {Everyone knew what was happening and that it was evil.}

Repeatedly and innocently refers to Samuel Eastborne as "my beloved companion" [179] and "true yokemate" [249] with whom he traveled, and slept [cf others too 263].

His words are written with ardor, with clear spiritual insight, and kindness. This, a true follower of Christ, an extinct species, now entirely forgotten.
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LibraryThing member BeardedPapa
I got this for the John Woolman Journal. It is a wonderful story of his spiritual journey in the 18th century. It is amazingly relevant for today, and I see myself experiencing the very same conflicts and resolutions of those struggles. He lived from 1720 to 1772 in the colonies, was of the Quaker
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persuasion and after becoming aware of the evils of slavery, led in the fight to end it among Quakers and, thereby, elsewhere. Really good writing.
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LibraryThing member Karin7
This book was a slow read, and I haven't read all of the series, but I did enjoy reading this a great deal as I learned a lot about people and things I hadn't known much about before. It was a good change from all the fiction I tend to read, and I think it's a great idea to read at least one volume
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of the Harvard Classics for all serious readers. My goal was to read the entire set of Harvard Classics, but I got bogged down somewhere in the second one and my try again when my kids are older.
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LibraryThing member verncox
Excellent source of how 3 of our founding fathers thought inspite of and free from modern bias.
LibraryThing member cstebbins
After reading the first volume of President Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, I'm afraid I really do wonder about the President's mindset. It's not that these works of Mr. Franklin, Mr. Woolman and Mr. Penn are not worth reading--they certainly are, and in the cases of Mr. Woolman and Mr. Penn, in parts
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"inspiring". But all three raise more questions than they provide answers. I read Franklin in high school and remembered mostly his table or scheme for self-improvement, which to a high school boy seemed rather absurd. This time, though, I found more sympathy for old Ben and noticed what I had not seen before, his humorous touches.

But why in the world would these be chosen as the first volume of Mr. Eliot's ambitious effort? Was he serious? If so, what was his point?
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